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Premier League • England

Goncalo Ramos: Man Utd learn of price hike after Portugal heroics as journalist names five other Prem suitors

Goncalo Ramos during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Portugal and Switzerland at Lusail Stadium on December 6, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar

Manchester United are far from the only Premier League side to express an interest in Goncalo Ramos – but the striker’s World Cup hat-trick for Portugal means any suitor will have to now pay a premium for his services.

The 21-year-old striker was the surprise inclusion in the Portuguese side to tackle Switzerland in final round of 16 clash on Tuesday night. The Benfica striker benefited with controversial star Cristiano Ronaldo dropping to the bench.

And Ramos did not let coach Fernando Santos down by scoring a tremendous treble as the Portuguese rolled the Swiss over 6-1.

Immediately after news broke of Ronaldo’s axing, rumours were abound of yet another falling out. And it did not take Gary Neville long to add his opinion with some more cutting criticism.

Ronaldo did his best to join in with the celebrations off the bench as Portugal set up a quarter-final date with Morocco. And while the former Manchester United quickly disappeared down the tunnel at full-time, Santos has moved to play down talk of a falling out.

“Cristiano and Ramos are different players. There is no problem with our captain,” he said. “We’ve been friends for years. We spoke before the game and he had no issue with my decision.”

That, however, should not take away from the plaudits afforded to Ramos after his excellent display.

He illustrated his excellent finishing prowess with ruthless efficiency in front of goal. And the 21-year-old looks a certainty to keep his place as they go in search of a semi-final place on Sunday.

The striker’s display was also warmly appreciated by his club, Benfica. Ramos now has 18 goals to his name for club and country this season. And his performance fully vindicated their decision to keep him last summer.

Man Utd keen on Goncalo Ramos

Ramos has benefited from Benfica’s decision to sell Darwin Nunez to Liverpool over the summer. Pushed into a more prominent role, he has grabbed that chance with both hands.

Manchester United have already been linked with him following his excellent start to the season. Erik ten Hag is seeking more firepower in the wake of Ronaldo’s exit and Ramos is reportedly on their list of targets.

However, before United even registered their interest, Benfica were batting away transfer approaches for their star.

Indeed, as per CBS journalist Ben Jacobs, Benfica spurned an approach from PSG over the summer. The striker has a £103.5m (€120m) release clause in his deal, but Benfica were seemingly willing to sell for around £38.9m (€45m) at the time.

PSG, however, did not match their bid, with Benfica instead deciding to retain his services.

Jacobs, though, reveals PSG were not the only side to take a look either. And he claims the striker was also reportedly on the shopping lists of five other Premier League sides before Man Utd.

Five Prem sides also looked at Ramos over the summer

Per Jacobs, Newcastle, Leeds, Wolves, Southampton and Nottingham Forest also cast their eyes over Ramos during the summer.

Any such deal now looks way beyond that quintet, with perhaps only Newcasle and Man Utd able to compete for his signature.

Jacobs, though claims any sale is likely to cost a premium now. Acknowledging their summer asking price, he claims Benfica will be asking for higher now.

Quite what level that will reach is anyone’s guess. And if the striker continues to shine at the World Cup, that figure is only leading one way.

Furthermore, in negotiating the initial £63m sale of Nunez to Liverpool, Benfica showed they are tough negotiators. And if all bonuses are met, his fee will ultimately top £85m.

The Portuguese giants are likely to demand a similarly high price if any side comes calling for the man of the moment, Ramos.

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